First Sergeant Ron Gentry, USMC (Ret.) received a Bronze Star from the Navy Tuesday for heroic actions in Vietnam in 1966. Gentry was nominated for the Bronze Star by his commanding officer, but not made aware of the award until years later. Gentry reconnected with his former commanding officer, Lt. Col. Thomas Hancock, who offered to help him get the award. After being initially denied by the Marine Corps because of the length of time that had passed, Gentry began working with Congressman Pitts to appeal.
Unfortunately, Hancock passed away before the award could be given.
While in Vietnam, Gentry volunteered as a forward artillery observer deep within enemy territory. He directed countless effective fire missions day and night while under hostile fire. While on patrol, his unit struck a mine, requiring evacuation by helicopter. Under enemy fire, he led the effort to prevent a disabled vehicle from falling into enemy hands.